Shockoe Ballpark Opponents Worry About City's Slavery History - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Shockoe Ballpark Opponents Worry About City's Slavery History

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Community members expressed their opposition to the Shockoe Bottom ballpark plans Community members expressed their opposition to the Shockoe Bottom ballpark plans

RICHMOND, VA (WRIC) - A group of Richmond artists, dancers and drummers gathered Sunday afternoon by the African Burial Grounds in opposition to Mayor Jones’ plan to bring a baseball stadium to Shockoe Bottom.

The group included members of Urban Individualists, ALO Community Strategy and & Urban Awareness, INC.

Lillie Estes was one of the event organizers. She says the stadium would pave over the city's history in the slave trade.

“Our point is that our history is not being expressed. That having a stadium in Shockoe Bottom does not go well with the reverence and history of the ancestors that are here,” she said.

Richmond City Council recently passed a resolution to allow Mayor Jones to continue planning the project. That includes retail and commercial development as well as a Slave and Freedom Heritage Site.

Supporters of the ballpark say that site will go near Lumpkin's Jail and the burial grounds to commemorate their history.

"The ballpark and the slavery and freedom heritage site will be two staples in Shockoe,” said Matthew Davey, president of the Historic Shockoe Valley Foundation. "The slave auction houses and most of the slave trading sites that occurred before the Civil War were on 15th Street, and the footprint of the ballpark is actually on 17th Street."

But Estes is skeptical that site may not be included in the final project.

“I'm not opposed to redevelopment. We just want it to be more inclusive of the different people that represent the diversity within our community,” said Estes.

Find out more about the Mayor’s revitalization plan.

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